Generation Next: The American Youth Horse Council Inspires Future Leaders

By Karen Elizabeth Baril

If you haven’t checked out AYHC, the American Youth Horse Council yet, you’re missing out. Established in the 1970’s, AYHC is unique in that most of its members are adults. “Most people assume the American Youth Horse Council’s  membership are kids, but AYHC was created to educate and support the adults who work with youth in the equine industry,” says executive director, Danette McGuire. “Our primary goal is to be a resource for youth leaders and provide a mechanism for those leaders to learn from each other.”

The AYHC acts as an umbrella organization connecting to all areas of the industry, all breeds and all disciplines with a focus on developing tomorrow’s industry leaders. “The way our society interacts with horses has drastically changed over the last 100 years,” points out McGuire. “We no longer use horses to plow fields or as a sole means of transportation.” We need entrepreneurs and future business leaders who will look for creative ways to make a living in the equine industry as well as make it stronger.

That’s where the AYHC comes in. Their goal is to bring people together to solve current issues and share information on leading youth forward. Their annual symposium to be held this year in Lexington, Kentucky on April 22-24th, brings together youth and adults from all facets of the equine industry, including 4-H, FFA, equine breed associations, extension specialists, and other industry professionals. Attendees share what’s happening in their corner of the world. Find more information at

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